State trooper sues Andrew Cuomo for alleged sexual harassment

State trooper sues Andrew Cuomo for alleged sexual harassment
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Disgraced ex-New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, former Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, and the New York State Police have been sued by a state trooper who alleged last year that Cuomo sexually harassed her at an event at the Triborough Bridge in 2017.

The "flirtatious" and "creepy" behavior was part of a broader pattern that went on for years, according to a report released last August by New York Attorney General Letitia James that included a swath of similarly damning complaints against Cuomo.

He claimed at the time that “the facts are much different than has been portrayed. I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," adding that '"for those who are using this moment to score political points, or seek publicity or personal gain, I say they actually discredit the legitimate sexual harassment victims that the law was designed to protect."

Cuomo resigned shortly after the myriad scandals were made public.

The officer, identified as "Trooper 1," said that "Cuomo sexually harassed her by commenting on her appearance, asking her to find him a 'girlfriend' who could 'handle pain' and steering 'their conversations towards sex,'" NBC News reported on Friday.

Cuomo "'used his physical proximity to Trooper 1 to touch her inappropriately,' including by running 'his finger down the center of my back of my spine, basically from the top of my neck, basically midway down with his pointer finger and just said, ‘Hey, you,''" the Thursday court filings revealed.

The victim also accused DeRosa of being "specifically involved in hiding the governor’s behavior."

The plaintiff is seeking restitution for "severe mental anguish and emotional distress" and asked the judge to issue a declaratory judgment in her favor.

"Given the threats and victim-shaming that Trooper 1 has faced after she testified truthfully about being sexually harassed in the workplace by the former governor, she has made the decision to proceed with this lawsuit anonymously with the hope that she can vindicate her legal rights and move on with her life," Trooper 1's lawyer, Valdi Lucil, said.

Cuomo and DeRosa have vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

"This claim relies on the AG’s proven fraud of a report, as demonstrated by the five district attorneys who, one by one – Democrat and Republican – looked at its findings and found no violations of law. If kissing someone on the cheek, patting someone on the back or stomach or waving hello at a public event on New Year's Eve is actionable, then we are all in trouble," Cuomo's spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement on Thursday. "Gov. Cuomo will fight every attempt at cheap cash extortions and is anxious to have the dirty politics stop — we look forward to justice in a court of law."

He later added in a statement to NBC: "To be clear: I’m not afraid of these ambulance-chasing hucksters. This is clearly protected free speech that is supported by actual facts; and while I’m no lawyer there is no way this thing against me is not going to get laughed out of court."

Paul Schechtman, DeRosa's attorney told NBC that the "only interaction with her [the trooper] was to say ‘hello and goodbye.’ It is not a viable case anywhere in America and is beyond frivolous.”

The New York State Police declined NBC's request for comment on the case.


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